Inexpensive at-home beauty hacks you can do right at your desk!
Times are a-changing.
You don’t need to venture into a salon or clinic for an effective beauty treatment. There’s a truckload you can try while working from home and even a few you can do while on a video call. So here is my gift to you, my dear friends — my shortlist of at-home beauty treatments you can do right at your WFH desk.
I don’t know a single person who hasn’t complained about their COVID hands. Dry, itchy and cracked skin are truly a sign of the times. A thick hand cream with urea or ceramides just might do the trick for some. But nothing beats a nourishing hand mask with thick emollients to heal seriously parched hands.
While you wouldn’t have dreamt of slipping into a luxe hand mask at the office, there’s no one stopping you now! Try this DIY hand mask during your work day.
STEP 1: Generously massage a balm or ointment onto hands. Vaseline or Paw Paw creams are good choices to prevent moisture loss
Step 2: Put hands in a pair of cotton gloves
Step 3 (Optional): If you find it hard to work with the gloves on, slip an extra pair of vinyl (or food prep) gloves on top. Trust me on this one — you’ll be typing and using your touchscreen devices in no time
Step 4: Leave gloves on for at least 20 minutes or longer if you can manage
Step 5: Follow up with a skin barrier repair hand cream immediately afterwards
Personal favourite restorative hand creams that help strengthen the skin barrier include CeraVe’s Hand Cream with 3 types of ceramides and Hamilton’s Urederm Cream with 10% Urea.
For very dehydrated hands, do this for 2–3 consecutive days and you’ll start noticing that they’re less dry. However, see your GP or dermatologist if your hands are looking red and are very itchy because you might need some anti-inflammation medication or ointment to calm the irritation.
Face Treatment #1
I used to think that WFH was total glam; extravagant gold sheet face masks and all that jazz. And it totally can be… until your manager calls through unannounced on Zoom and wants to chat ASAP. As a seasoned remote worker, let me say that, that stuff happens more than you think. So leave those sheet masks for nights or weekends. Instead, you can achieve similar results with an overnight cream mask on top of your day moisturiser.
And no, sleeping masks aren’t just for nights! They’re perfect in the day too because they ultimately act as a skincare finisher, locking in your entire daytime skincare routine. This treatment works especially well for anyone with their heater on during the day, making their skin feel extra tight and looking a bit too dull even for their LQ webcam.
Face Treatment #2
Whether it’s all the sugar or spicy ramen I’ve been powering through during lockdown, my face has gotten uber puffy over the past few months. Sure, the answer is undoubtedly exercise which will get the blood moving better. But here’s another option — lymphatic facial massage.
The science behind lymph drainage is that the massage will help drain wastage and toxins by moving the lymph or white blood cells through the body.
Your body already normally does this. But a manual facial massage will help this process along and boost blood and energy flow, and improve your complexion. I find that a gentle lymphatic massage along the sides of my neck, jawline and collarbones helps with the swelling in my checks. Others have suggested that these massages can lift the face and improve elasticity if done diligently and frequently.
Lymphatic facial massages are easy to do. All you need is your own pair of hands, and a face or body oil. As for instructions? I leave you with one of my fav instructional videos on lymphatic facial massages from the always lovely and ever knowledgeable Dr Mona Vand.
What’s an at-home beauty treatment menu without some foot pampering? Considering that they’re often the most neglected part of our body, WFH is your chance to start taking better care of them.
There’s plenty of foot exfoliation products out there that remove dry and cracked skin without so much as you lifting a finger. But if crazy foot peels freak you out a little too much, here’s a natural formula just for you:
Step 1: Soak your feet in a basin filled with 2 cups of warm water and 1 cup of white or apple cider vinegar for 15 mins
Step 2: Pat dry and gently scrub your feet with equal parts of raw sugar and coconut oil
Step 3: Coat feet in a thick balm or ointment (I like DU’IT Foot & Heel Balm Plus with 25% urea!) and cover with socks
You’re only limited by what’s in your kitchen when it comes to an at-home hair treatment. Ingredients packed with fatty acids like avocado and coconut oil can be mixed with egg and honey to make a gooey, nourishing DIY mask to revitalise dry hair. Apply the mixture on the ends of your hair, wrap your hair in a bun and wear a shower cap to let the mask sink in. When someone dials through, all you need to do is take off the shower cap and you’re ready to go!
If DIY-ing isn’t your style, leave-in conditioners or hair cream masks just on the tips produces equally pleasing results.